What is a Transportation Coordinator & What’s Their Duty on the Set?
The Transportation Coordinator is responsible for managing the transportation department and overseeing the transportation needs of the film crew and staff. This individual employs one or two transportation managers that work to manage the use of transportation vehicles that get staff and crew plus equipment from place to place. The transportation coordinator must have knowledge of various forms of transportation and the ability to drive crew members as needed.
This individual is responsible for procuring transportation vehicles associated with production. This includes any big trucks, trailers that are used for makeup and costume, lighting vehicles, personal trailers for directors and film stars, and any rental cars for traveling cast and crew. The transportation coordinator coordinates all transportation related information to ensure that cast and crew can get to where they need to be when they need to be there.
Transportation Coordinator Responsibilities
The transportation coordinator will be responsible for coordinating all transportation needs for the production. This includes transporting equipment and crew to the filming locations as well as to any other necessary areas relative to the shoot. They are also responsible for hiring transportation vehicles that are required during the production.
This individual manages a small crew that works together to ensure appropriate transport to and from location throughout the production. They work with various cast and crew members and must have the ability to work well under pressure, stay within budget, and schedule transport in a timely manner.
Transportation coordinators ensure that the vehicles coming to a location can make it in and out. If there’s a bridge with 13’ clearance, and there is a transport vehicle with a 15’ clearance, they are responsible for adjusting the transport so that the vehicle can take a different route or so that the equipment or crew use a different vehicle that will fit within the bridge clearance.
The transportation coordinator works closely with rental companies and transport contractors to negotiate rental agreements and secure transport. The are generally required to pass a pre-employment drug test and background check as they are responsible for major vehicle and for the safety of those who travel in said vehicles.
The transportation coordinator ensures that the lots are ready and scouted out prior to arrival on location. They also work to ensure that transport vehicles that are rented or borrowed are returned in the condition in which they are received.
Transportation Coordinator Skills
These individuals must be skilled in transporting cargo and they must have an understanding of loads and road navigation. They are responsible for handling the logistics of transporting cast and crew plus the associated equipment to the location of the film shoot. They must have motivation to work well under pressure and the ability to work long hours despite various conditions.
The transportation coordinator comes into the production several weeks prior to ensure that all transport has been planned and scheduled in advance.
Additional skills include:
- Ability to negotiate rental contracts.
- Ability to work with others.
- Ability to communicate well both written and oral communication.
- Ability to understand road navigation and clearance.
- Ability to refer details on transport to others.
- Understanding of loads.
- Scheduling skills.
Transportation coordinators exist in other professions too! Here’s a great video showing off what a transportation coordinator does: